UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has named the three winners of this year’s UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): the Camphill Community Trust in Botswana, the Sustainable Amazon Foundation (Brazil) and the city of Hamburg (Germany). Each of the three laureates will receive an award of US $50,000, in a ceremony that will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 15 November, within the framework of the General Conference of UNESCO.
The Camphill Community Trust is recognized for its school and community-based Integrated Learning for Living and Work Programme, which offers services for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have not progressed in mainstream education. Through an integrated experience of environment, society and economy, the programme allows learners with special needs to acquire vocational skills such as horticulture, catering and crafts, functional skills such as literacy, numeracy and IT as well as personal and social skills. During their training learners take part in a permaculture programme which includes tree and crop planting and harvesting skills.
The Sustainable Amazon Foundation wins the Prize for its imaginative project Relevant education for the sustainable development in remote Amazon communities. It focuses on forest-based income generation, environmental conservation and quality of life. Aiming to ‘make forests worth more standing than cut’, the programme is implemented in 581 remote communities through capacity-building and grassroots empowerment. Nine Conservation and Sustainability Centers throughout the Amazon serve as platforms to leverage adapted sustainable development solutions.
Hamburg was selected for its large-scale programme Hamburg is learning sustainability, which fights climate change through an extensive set of projects, materials and green events that serve to educate and promote sustainable development. For example, it supports educational climate projects in kindergartens, schools and non-formal education, and fosters a climate excellence cluster in universities. Involving a broad range of actors, the programme aims to integrate sustainability into all sectors of education and transform educational practice in the whole city.
The winners of this year’s UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development were chosen by an independent international jury from a record number of 115 nominations, submitted by the governments of 63 UNESCO Member States and ten organizations in official partnership with UNESCO. The core selection criteria were the projects’ potential for transformation, their innovative quality and ability to embrace all three dimensions of sustainability: the economy, society and the environment.
Funded by the Government of Japan, the Prize was established by UNESCO’s Executive Board in the framework of the Global Action Programme on ESD, to showcase and reward outstanding ESD projects and programmes. This is the fifth edition of the Prize.